An all-new story in Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors/Rebels paranormal romance series is out this week, and I have a sneak peek for you.
“We have to go, Raine.” Yet she stayed in place. Was there more danger in the storm or in the barn? The barn. The kidnappers could return with weapons. They surely hadn’t expected Raine to be able to get out of his cuffs.
“We have to wait out the storm, darlin’.” Raine put one broad hand on the door as if to shut it.
She whirled on him, thankful to have a place to focus. “You don’t understand.”
“Yeah. We’re gonna discuss that.” He looked down at her, formidable now that the drugs had obviously exited his system.
Before she’d met him, months ago, she hadn’t believed in love at first sight. Or even lust at first sight. But without knowing it, without having a clue that she dreamed about him every night, he’d taught her that it existed.
Oh, she wanted him, but it went deeper than that. She didn’t understand why, and there was no doubt the attraction was one-sided, but she’d always dream about him. It just was. For now, she had to save his life.
She grabbed his arm. He wasn’t understanding the danger here. “Listen to me. Please.” She looked way up to his hard cut face. From the first day, she’d found him to be unreal. His eyes glittered a fierce green against his darker complexion. His bone structure was sharply angled, his eyebrows naturally arched, and his jawline sliced with expert precision. He had jet-black hair that was thick and wavy, and his body was muscled and graceful. He was beautiful in a wild and raw way—too rough to be a model but more stunning than any man she’d ever seen.
He slipped out of his battered leather jacket and set it around her shoulders. “Put your arms in.”
She didn’t have the energy to argue and was freezing, so she did as he’d ordered. His intriguing scent of male with a hint of coffee beans surrounded her. She really did imagine that scent in her dreams. “He’s going to show up. We have to run.”
Raine arched one very dark eyebrow. “I hope he comes back. Or they do. I’m not sedated right now, and you’re safe. Take a deep breath before you hyperventilate.”
Her body flushed cold and then very warm. Oh, he stood to about six and a half feet tall, was muscled, and moved like he could fight. Even so, this kidnapping was obviously planned out, and right now, Raine didn’t have a weapon on him. “You’re a badass, I admit. But even you can’t outrun a bullet.” She wouldn’t feel guilty about the relief filtering through her that she wasn’t alone here. “Let’s run for the trees.”
“No.” He kept the door open but pulled her back. “I can see if anybody comes down that road, and if they do, they’re going to regret it. For now, tell me what’s going on.”
There was a difference between being brave and being an egotistical moron, and Mariana had to get him to see reason. While Raine was tough, the kidnapper had both sedatives and probably weapons, and getting to safety was more important than fighting right now. So she did the only thing she could by ducking her head, bunching her legs, and running full-on into the rain.
Lightning zigged on the field, lighting the entire world and blowing the harsh smell of ozone at her. She screamed and ran faster over the muddy ground, hunching over and beating toward the forest. Rain poured over her, instantly soaking her hair to her head. She blinked water out of her eyes.
Her escape must’ve surprised Raine, because it took him a moment to catch up with her. When he did, it wasn’t to help her into the trees.
He snatched her up in a move so fast she got dizzy and had to close her eyes. He swung them around and ran back into the barn, setting her roughly on a bale of old and prickly hay. “What the holy fuck are you doing?” His eyes blazed an impossible green in his brutal face.
She kicked his shin and tried to jump to her feet.
He planted one solid hand over her entire shoulder and kept her in place. “Knock it off,” he growled.
She stiffened and sucked in several panicked breaths. “What are you doing?”
His jaw firmed, and he just stared at her. When he spoke, he sounded like he’d swallowed sharp stones. “You were the tallest thing away from the forest, and there’s lightning out there. We’re not going anywhere until this storm abates. Period.”
She swallowed. “We have to run. The guy has a plan, Raine.”
“Good. So do I.” He loomed over her, looking more dangerous than any stalker could ever be.
“What’s that?” she snapped, searching for her temper and thankfully finding it.
He leaned toward her, masculine and intense. “We wait out the storm. If it lets up, we walk to the nearest town. If the kidnapper shows up, I rip off his head. That’s the plan.”